Saturday, September 04, 2004

Who reads the Boston Phoenix's weekly editorial anyway?

Editorial writers like to think themselves as the fulcrum of the marketplace of ideas. Many editorial writers pretentiously think they can shape public opinion, and perhaps among the elites they do. For those running for political office, an increasingly insular world, an endorsement from the Boston Globe, for example, provides some sort of cache that I could never really understand.

In Boston you have to read the Boston Herald to find common sense editorials and not because they are perceptively right-of-center. Herald editorials are written without any air of superiority or sophistication. In the Globe you can measure the high decibels of Bush-hatred by the nearly mindless letter-to-the-editor writers operate in the fingernails-against-the-chalkboard feedback loop. The bottom line is that Globe writes its editorials for this utopian bunch. Let's put it this way, the Boston Herald is for people who would enjoy sitting down with George Bush for a beer (even the nonalcoholic variety.) The Boston Globe is for people who actually think the likes of John Kerry and Al Gore, for example, are exceedingly charismatic and are flummoxed that you don't think the same way.

If you think the editorials in the Boston Globe are insipid and inane, try reading the weekly Boston Phoenix editorial. I can't imagine anyone of substance who takes this tendentious material seriously. The Boston Phoenix is sometimes actually worth reading. Dan Kennedy is usually compelling and insightful about the inside baseball of Boston media. And to its credit. the Phoenix's Kristen Lombardi broke the Catholic Church abuse scandal long before the saints at Morrissey Blvd and without the benefit of a Spotlight team.

Otherwise in terms of politics and journalism, the Boston Phoenix is redundantly banal. Why does the city need another liberal journal of opinion and in an age where fewer people are reading print journalism. In the world of editorial opinion, Feenix is a pretender to the throne. In the liberal galaxy where the "Feenix" opines, hate is only on the right, and never, never on the left. Obviously in castigating the Bushies and the GOP, the Phoenix this week saw a lot of love out there in the streets of New York. If you so care to tread, here's Phoenix not exactly rising out of the ashes of glory in "Debasing our culture: The only way out from underneath the Bush administration’s lies, obfuscation, and hate is to vote in November."

We are living in dangerous times. The mainstream press is all too willing to investigate the baseless, scurrilous charges of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which lends dignity to Republican lies and distortions. From the moment the first Swift Boat charge was lobbed, the media should have noted the connections between Bush aide Karl Rove and the Swift Boat group’s backers, and noted that this was the third time Bush and/or his supporters have smeared a Vietnam veteran during a campaign...

It’s no wonder the president was able to get away with lying to bring to the country to war. It’s no wonder that GOP radicals have been able to pass tax cut after tax cut after tax cut to the near-exclusive benefit of the wealthiest two percent of the country (thus triggering ruinous budget deficits). It’s no wonder that social policy in this country has been reduced to denouncing gay men and lesbians as the root cause of all that ails us. And it’s no wonder that Bush stands poised to steal another election thanks to our failure to enact meaningful voting reform in the wake of the 2000 Florida debacle...

The growing sentiment among the liberal smart set is a worrisome acknowlegement GOP ran a successful convention in hostile territory. And as one moves farther away from that the crossdressing event of the year known as the DNC that papered over its far-left delegation with tough talk looks awfully small in the rear view mirror. Portraying the Democrats as tough on terrorism makes for good fiction but little else. But coming around to the idea that John Kerry is a weak candidate is unhinging the liberals. Hatred of the President, does not make for good electoral strategy.

Obviously the Phoenix chooses to ignore the repulsive and now discredited Michael Moore bunkmate to Friend of North Korea Jimmy Carter, most of Hollywood gliterati, the lack of scrutiny to DNC clowns such as Al Sharpton.

On the perplexing matter of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth can someone at the Phoenix answer this question: Can all of the nearly 300 Vietnam Veterans be wrong? And pray tell, my dear anonymous Boston Phoenix editorial writer, what do you think about the abusive 527s of which nearly 90 percent a solidly liberal and connected to the Kerry campaign. Do Harold Ickes and Jim Jordan ring a bell. Nary a comment here lest we upset the phonies at, another core Phoenix constituency I suppose. By the way, wasn't the Feenix into once into campaign finance reform?

Naturally each week the Phoenix plays to its audience before said audience thumbs its way to the arts section. It is after all an "activist" news weekly. But does it have to do it with cliches?

There is only one way to end this disgrace: vote. You have until 20 days
before the November 2 presidential election to register to vote. Visit
for information on how to register if you haven’t already. More than at any
other time in recent history, this election matters.

Yes, of course, this election matters, in these "dangerous times," but not for the reasons liberals like to believe.

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